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TRADE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INDIA AND THE UNITED STATES

Economic and trade relations between the United States and India have experienced a number of ups and downs since Indias independence in 1947. During much of the 1950s and early 1960s, the United States was a leading trading partner for India, providing the nation with about a third of its imports. However, those economic ties quickly subsided when India fostered closer ties with the Soviet Union following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. For the next 40 years, political and economic relations between India and the United States were rather cool. Since 2004, Washington and New Delhi have been pursuing a strategic partnership based on numerous shared values and improved economic and trade relations. India is in the midst of a rapid economic expansion, and many U.S. companies view India as a lucrative market and a candidate for foreign investment. However, the U.S. government is concerned that Indias economic reforms are progressing too slowly and unevenly. According to official U.S. trade statistics, bilateral merchandise trade with India has grown from under $10 billion in 1996 to nearly $31 billion in 2006 a trebling in a decade. In 1996, India was the 32nd largest market for U.S. exports and the 25th largest source of imports. By 2006, India had risen to be 21st biggest export market for the United States and the 18th biggest supplier of imports. The United States total trade with India in 2006 exceeded that with Israel, Nigeria, and Thailand. India-U.S. Economic and Trade Relations The trade and investment reforms implemented by India over the last 15 years have generally fostered improved trade relations which represents complimentary business interests rather than a standard developed-developing relationship. However, the improvement in trade relations has been punctuated by episodic problems, generally based on political rather than economic differences of opinion. A major divergence came on May 13, 1998, when the United States imposed trade sanctions on India in response to its nuclear weapons tests. Trends in Merchandise Trade Regardless of which nations trade statistics are considered, the value of merchandise trade between India and the United States has picked up dramatically over the last 20 years. In 1986, according to U.S. trade statistics, the total value of bilateral trade with India was $4.0 billion. By 2006, the total value of bilateral trade had raised to $31.9 billion nearly an eightfold increase.

Key Economic and Trade Issues Through, the trade between the United States and India is relatively small; it has risen sharply over the years. In terms of Indias major trading partner, USA continues to lead. However, Indias share in US trade is 24th in US Export and 18th in US imports. The two Countries have been making efforts to strengthen institutional structure of bilateral economic relations. Indias sizable population and growing middle and higher income class makes India a potentially large market for US goods and services. According to the figure from government sources, US exports to and imports from India in 2003, totaled US $ 5.0 billion and US $ 13.1 billion respectively. Indias main exports to US are precious stones, metals (worked diamonds & gold jewellery), woven apparel, knit apparel, miscellaneous textile article, fish and seafood (frozen shrimp), textile floor coverings, Iron/steel products, organic chemicals and machinery (taps, valves, transmission shafts, gears, pistons, etc.). This trade pattern shows that how India exports its bio products in the form of seafood to U.S. which is a good sign for growing biotech industries of this country. India imports sophisticated machinery (computers and components, gas turbines, telecom, etc.), Electrical machinery (recording/sound media), Medical and surgical equipment/instruments, Aircraft, spacecraft (small aircraft), precious stones, metals (diamonds, not mounted or set), jewellery, organic chemicals, plastic, cotton and cotton waste and wood pulp, etc. Trade in Information Technology and Other Services At present, most of the focus of Indo-U.S. service trade is in the information technology (IT) sector. Over the last few years, U.S. companies have been outsourcing many aspects of their IT work to India and other nations. According to one recent study, U.S. banks will increase the share of their IT work overseas from 6% to 30% by 2010, representing a transfer of over $10 billion of IT services. The study also predicted that the nature of the overseas IT work will shift from low-level applications to more sophisticated IT activities. Another study projected that U.S. IT outsourcing would increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% over the next five years, reaching a total value of $17.7 billion in 2011. Meanwhile, Indias domestic IT industry is attempting to branch out of the lower value-added activities (such as call centers and payroll processing) into higher value-added services (such as product design, software development, and chip engineering). Many U.S. companies are establishing tech centers in India to take advantage of the greater availability and lower cost

of Indian engineers. Plus, leading Indian IT companies such as Tata, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, and HCL Technologies are developing their international IT service capacity. In May 2007, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) in conjunction with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) implemented a Bollywood-Hollywood anti-piracy initiative aimed at stopping the illegal copying and distribution of U.S. and Indian entertainment trademarks, and patents, as well as protection against unfair commercial use for data generated to obtain marketing approval. The U.S. Trade Representative has also indicated that the United States would like to see India join the World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO) Internet Treaties. On the enforcement side, the United States claimed that piracy of copyright materials was rampant. Summary After decades of strained political relations, the U.S. and Indian governments are currently pursuing a strategic partnership based on numerous overlapping interests, shared values, and improved economic and trade relations. India is in the midst of a rapid economic expansion, and many U.S. companies view India as a lucrative market and a candidate for foreign investment along with transforming a quasi-socialist economy into a more open, market-oriented economy.